Fruit Adventures: Pasadena Gems

Have you ever been to Pasadena? Most folks, both local and tourists alike, visit the Old Town Pasadena area to catch up on some retail therapy or to enjoy a succulent meal in one of the trendy and upscale restaurants that the Old Town has to offer. But what most people don't know about (or are just nonchalant about) is the rich architecture that lies in the city's vast residential area. I am in no way an art fanatic but having an architect for a boyfriend has definitely given me a new perspective on these sort of things. In short--- I kinda give a rat's butt about it now.

The Gamble House

Being one of the most iconic houses of the arts and crafts movement in architecture, the Gamble House is a sight to behold. The house was built as a winter home for David and Mary Gamble (of Procter & Gamble), designed by Architects Charles and Henry Greene. Guess when this house was built? 1908!

Uh...this was JUST a winter home? Damn.

The boyfriend has been itching to go to this place so when we found some time to squeeze in a one-hour docent-guided tour, I jumped right in to reserve some tickets. The only way to get into the house is through the guided tours so it's best to check out for their schedule and purchase the tickets online at There is no photography allowed inside the house so sadly, I can't share with you how truly remarkable the craftsmanship of this house is but you can easily find a book or google about it. Every detail was so well thought of that the architects even designed the furnishings themselves. That, or they were just a bunch of control-freaks!

The house is heavily Japanese-inspired as the Gambles were very much into the Japanese art and culture.

Personally, I think the best thing about the house is the impeccable wood if you think you're anal then you haven't seen what they did for the interiors of this house--- everything was designed and collaborated to a T! Oh and speaking of wood, they won't let you in if you aren't wearing flat shoes (stiletto heels are the devil, or at least that's what the docents would think) as pointy heels may damage the wooden floors of the house.

Just a couple of feet from the house is the car garage that's now been converted into a bookstore filled with art/architecture books (you may also try to drop in and purchase some tour tickets if they're still available).

Dude, you know you're rich when you have your own gas pump in your's right, 1908!

Obviously I cease to exist when the boyfriend is surrounded by architecture books. Note to self: Send boyfriend to buy appropriate size of jeans. Mmmk, Mr. Saggy Butt?

I spy some cute tiles!

Taking pictures under the sun (in every freakin' angle) can really drain one's energy and sanity and since I knew that we were going to be around Pasadena, I called in advance and booked a table for afternoon tea at The Langham . This afternoon tea thing has become a tradition of ours since about 7 years ago, where we had our first afternoon tea together at The Drake in Chicago. It was a sweet discovery to find that both the boyfriend and I actually really enjoy this kinda stuff, so we agreed to try to have afternoon tea wherever we landed on the map. So far we've had tea at The Peninsula in Hong Kong, The Fullerton Hotel in Singapore and The Rose Garden Tea Room at the Huntington Botanical Gardens, and now we can add The Langham to the list!

Who would have known that this was in Pasadena? It's so hidden that you have to go through residential roads to get here. This looks like a perfect setting for a great wedding reception, non?

Upon entering, we were greeted by a modest lobby area, with a beautiful chandelier in the center.

The hallway towards the Lobby Lounge (where they have the afternoon tea), decked in huge beautiful paintings.

The hotel's beautiful courtyard.

It's not that hard to navigate around the hotel but if you spot this sign, you've arrived at the Lobby Lounge.

The set-up is pretty chill, you can hang out with your friends or just have a relaxing date.

Further inside, you can see floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the hotel's garden.

You'd think my date's looking at floor plans---he's just checking out the tea selection. Ha!

The Tiffin Afternoon Tea has two options, you can get the Traditional Tiffin Tea ($39 per person), or the Royal Tiffin Tea (includes champagne, $56 per person). Getting drunk off of champagne in the middle of the afternoon and possibly scaring all the other guests sounded so enticing but we still had somewhere else to go, so...Traditional it is!

The tea comes with a selection of scones, pastries and finger sandwiches. I was so hungry that I devoured all the sandwiches first, screw the pastries! Ha!

This passion apricot cone had a gold flake in it, should I eat it or save it 'til I end up having a whole gold bar? Hmmm. Decisions, decisions.

We're having afternoon tea with our little pinky's up so, I have to act all prim and proper, right?

But then I couldn't help myself and got sugar high with God knows how many sugar cubes and milk I dumped in my tea. My cup is too full, I lick the tea spoon and I don't wait until the sugar dissolves, I MASH it---I am every tea aficionado's faux pas nightmare! Ha!

Thank you, boyfriend, for recording my VERY FIRST short video (?) on my blog! And also for holding in your giggles until the last part.

Is that food in my hair?

When we were done with our sugar-high tea, I had the hostess validate our valet parking stub. Please take note that this place has valet parking only. I think they charge $12 for it but with a validated stub, we only paid $5.

We ventured a little bit more around the property and found cute little bungalows where guests could stay at instead of the usual hotel rooms in the main building.

As we went back inside, I noticed there was a nice, dimly-lit place called The Tap Room.

I wanted to grab a drink or two since it looked so cozy in there but alas, we had to leave or we might miss the main event of the night---which you will find out on my next post! :)

Stay tuned for more fun stuff coming up on the blog but for now, have a great weekend!


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